Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Some Catanese favorites

I'd like to share with you a few special things that brighten my Sicilian world these days.

Juna    photo credit: shop therapy

My favorite boutique: Juna

I stumbled across this little shop in Catania's city center some years back and it quickly became my favorite place to purchase clothes, accessories and girly gifts. Really, it is one of the only places I shop at in Catania. There are very few shops that inspire here, but this one really does. The owner is a fashion designer and hand sews her own clothes which she sells in the shop, along with those of other Italian based clothing, accessory and jewelry designers. She also carries an inexpensive line from Spain (Kling) which I love when looking to add some funkiness in my life. This place is full of pretty things and it brings me great joy every time I make a visit. There are so few boutiques of this sort in Catania, and according to the owner there still is not much appreciation for boutiques of this sort here. As a result, the prices even for the handmade clothing is astonishingly affordable given the quality and uniqueness of the pieces. I really hope things pick up for Juna - I don't know what I'd do without it!!!!
You can read more about the talented owner, Paola, and her eye for fashion here

My favorite radion station: Radio Zammu'

This is the University of Catania's radio station. This was another accidental discovery when flipping through stations in the car one day and suddenly hitting upon something that wasn't Italian love songs, religious preachings, or Euro trash pop, but rather something in the range of 'alternative'. There are different student dj's throughout the day, usually some really good music playing, and sometimes informative interviews with people, authors, artists, musicians, professors, etc. involved in events  organized at the University or in Catania. I like listening to this station - it makes me feel part of a community and up to date on the latest happenings here. I'm also impressed with how well-organized the station is --something I hear is not usually the case at the university -- and that with its youthful vibe seems to be sincerely making an effort to be the voice of the university's students.   

My favorite source of seasonal veggies: BioGold

I've mentioned this before, but I am in love with my crate of weekly veggies and eggs that arrive farm fresh at my door. A friend of mine shared this discovery with me, and since my first order I haven't looked back. I love the convenience and the price tag, too. The guy who organizes the deliveries is very sweet - he always asks for the crates and egg cartons back and will even pick up your organic waste for composting if you don't compost yourself. 


  1. Oh my! Thanks for the tips. I haven't come across Juno, but now that I know about it I shall be taking a trip up there. The radio station also sounds fun, and a good change from Rai3 or Virgin, which is what we usually end up defaulting to in the house.

    BioGold I did know about, but only as a honey supplier at the market at Benedettini on the 2nd (?) Sunday of the month - I had no idea they delivered veggies as well. I usually go to La Fiera for veg, as it's practically on my doorstep, but it's good to know there are alternatives.

  2. Hi there!
    Another expat friend pointed me to your blog - I am an expat in germany, but we are going to the Taormina area next week for a couple of days and she thought you might have some good things to see (and eat!) in the area on your blog. She said it was one of the best expat blogs, so i will be subscribing even above and beyond our Sicily trip :) Any idea if we will be able to see any lava on Etna?

  3. Dear Michelle,
    Thanks so much for your comment and so sweet to hear that your friend likes the blog. Taormina is beautiful - you will have an amazing time. For eating, I have better recommendations for the Catania area than for Taormina....but I can ask a friend of my who has a b&b there and get back to you. It is a small town so it is hard to miss the sites I think, and also the shops. I think if you stay there it would be fun to try and wander along the side streets just to get a feel for the place. Do make the trip up to Castelmola - the tiny town above Taormina - which has a funky bar to visit and even more amazing views. And then down to the beach at Isola Bella which is a little Mediterranean paradise. If you like archaeology Giardini Naxos is nice to visit (the earliest ancient Greek settlement in Sicily) - the little museum is funky and the site is overgrown but lovely for a walk. I've written about all those places on the blog so take a peak for more info. If you have any more specific questions feel free to ask or send me your email! Karen

    1. Oh I forgot to mention the lava - I don't think Etna has been active lately, definitely no lava flows in the news these days. If you go up for a day trip (totally worth it by the way) you will see smoke and can feel hot rocks if you go all the way up to the south crater. Not really sure if they run in the winter though!


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